Body Acne in Men
The AskMen website explains that there is no difference between the acne found on the face and that which occurs on the body. Pimples can develop anywhere a pore exists--and only the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet have no pores. Body acne can be emotionally distressing, especially if it is severe. Therefore, it is important to understand why it occurs and how it can be treated.
According to the Mayo Clinic, acne can appear almost anywhere on the body including the neck, arms, chest, back and buttocks. It can occur as raised inflamed bumps called blackheads, whiteheads, papules or pustules. More serious forms of acne such as nodules or cysts can develop deep inside the hair follicle and result in scarring and disfiguration. All forms of acne cause blemishes that are tender, inflamed, reddish in color and can be filled with pus.
The MedlinePlus website explains that acne develops when the hair follicles of the skin become blocked. The sebaceous glands inside hair follicles produce oil to keep the skin moisturized and healthy. When the body produces excess amounts of oil, it can have difficulty escaping the pores and become blocked with bacteria, dirt and dead skin cells. Certain conditions, such as hormonal fluctuations, humidity, greasy cosmetics and medications can trigger and contribute to acne.
There are many over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help treat body acne. These lotions and ointments dry up oil, encourage dead skin cell sloughing and kill any bacteria. Among them are lactic acid, sulfur, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and resorcinol. Temporary side effects may include dry skin, flaking and irritation. A dermatologist can also perform a cosmetic procedure such as microdermabrasion or a chemical peel to help strip away dead skin and clogged pores.
Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing, backpacks, sports equipment or tight straps as much as possible. These can trap sweat, dirt and heat against your skin, resulting in acne. Always shower after a workout to prevent sweat, dirt and bacteria from clogging your pores. In addition, be sure that all body products, such as lotions and sunscreens, are water-based and labeled "noncomedogenic," meaning they will not clog pores.
The MedlinePlus website warns that a dermatologist or doctor should be consulted if over-the-counter medications and treatments prove ineffective on your body acne. In addition, seek help if your acne is severe, progressively gets worse or begins to leave behind scars. Never pop, pick or rub at your body acne. Although this may seem like an effective way to remove the blemishes, it can actually cause infection or permanent scarring.
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